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Children’s TV programs

There are rules about preschool and children's programs on commercial free-to-air TV. These are in the Australian Content and Children’s Television Standards 2020.

The information on this page reflects arrangements from 1 January 2021. 

Classification of children’s programs

‘G’ classification is ‘general’. While G programs are not for children, they must be mild in impact. Children must be able to watch it without supervision.

‘PG’ is ‘Parental Guidance recommended’. These programs may carefully show adult themes or ideas, but they must be mild in impact. Children can watch with the supervision of a parent or carer.

‘C’ (children’s) and ‘P’ (preschool children’s) classifications are different from ‘G’ and ‘PG’ classifications. They are not just ‘suitable for’ or ‘primarily designed for’ children but are designed specifically to meet children’s needs and interests.

To count an Australian children’s (non-drama) program towards your first release Australian programs quota, it must have been classified as C or P by the ACMA.

You can also apply for a C or P classification for a children’s drama program or a children’s film.

See our Guide to children’s television classification for details.

We publish a list of programs we have classified C or P each year.

Identification of C and P programs

You must identify a C program with the ‘C’ classification symbol and a P program with a ‘P’ classification symbol in the:

  • broadcast of the program
  • broadcast schedule
  • electronic program guide (EPG)
  • listing on the website.

Children’s protections

C- and P-classified programs and any material broadcast during and immediately before and after C and P programs must comply with the children’s protections in the Australian Content and Children’s Television Standards 2020

The protection provisions regulate areas such as:

  • program promotions
  • prizes
  • competitions.

There are also rules on the amounts and content of advertisements broadcast immediately before during and after C and P programs.

The rules

It is a condition of your licence that you follow the rules in the Australian Content and Children’s Television Standards 2020. We investigate complaints about you if you do not follow the rules.

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